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The Best Short-Term Investment Options

Short-term investments are generally defined as investments that pay off in less than five years (sometimes even less time, perhaps within a year). Whereas long-term investments are generally made with the goal of building... More>>

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What Type of Investment Account Should You Open?

Investing in the stock market has been a great way to build long-term wealth for almost as long as the United States has been a country. And as retirements continue to increase with people’s lifespans, it’s becoming more... More>>

Pension vs. 401(k): Comparing Retirement Plans

Both pensions and 401(k) plans have at one time held the distinction of most popular employer-sponsored retirement plan in the country. However, due to the much higher cost on employers, pensions are becoming less and less... More>>

How to Roll Over Your 401(k) Plan to a Roth IRA

When you leave a job where you had a 401(k) plan, you might choose to roll over that plan an individual retirement account (IRA). Such rollovers are fairly straightforward; the transfer of assets isn’t a taxable... More>>

How to Read and Analyze a Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is one of three financial documents that every investor should check when researching a company to invest in. The other two are an income statement, which looks at a company’s profits, and a cash flow... More>>

Opportunity Cost: Definition and Examples

Opportunity cost is a basic microeconomics concept, maybe one you learned in a long-ago and hazily recollected 8 a.m. Econ 101 lecture. If you need a refresher, opportunity cost is the benefit you miss out on when you... More>>

How to Find Unclaimed Money With Your Name On It

Believe it or not, a hefty amount of your money could be sitting at a government agency without your knowledge. Unclaimed money can come in the form of inactive financial accounts, unclaimed retirement assets and tax... More>>

The Best Investment Simulators

Investing is risky. When you put your money in the market, you’re taking a chance with real money — money that you might need to pay your mortgage, feed your family and cover the other basic costs of living. If …... More>>

How (and Where) to Invest in Cryptocurrency

Although cryptocurrency has only been around for a short time, it’s already expanded into a wide, convoluted universe that can be difficult to understand for the uninitiated. But with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies... More>>

What Are Dow Futures and How Do You Trade Them?

Dow Futures are a reasonable thing not to know about if you’re not well-versed in investing. Essentially, a Dow Future is a contract between two parties in which they bet on the direction of the Dow Jones Industrial... More>>

Hours of Work Needed to Pay Rent in the 25 Largest Cities – 2019 Edition

Rising rents present a major challenge for non-homeowning city dwellers nationwide. Since 1983, the cost of housing for urban renters has risen more than 324%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price... More>>

How to Buy a Business

So you want to be a business owner, but the prospect of starting your own business is intimidating. One potential solution: Buying an existing business. An existing business typically has customers, vendors and branding... More>>

How to Set Up a Blind Trust

Many people under intense public scrutiny, such as politicians, judges and high-powered business people, use blind trusts to avoid the perception of conflicts of interest when it comes to their personal financial dealings.... More>>

10 Types of Investments (and How They Work)

Investing intimidates a lot of people. There are a lot of options, and it can be hard to figure out which investments are right for your portfolio. This guide walks you through 10 of the most common types of investment... More>>

How to Invest After You Retire

A lot of people spend their adult lives working and saving to prepare for retirement. But once you hang up your hat, you shouldn’t necessarily stop thinking about saving and investing. The question of what should... More>>

The Best Ways to Invest $30,000

If you have $30,000 to invest, you have many options. Some things, like making the down payment on a house, might be a bit out of reach, but you can still invest in securities ranging from stocks to treasury bonds. …... More>>

States With the Smartest Taxpayers

A large majority (75%) of taxpayers overpay on taxes and receive a tax refund, according to IRS data. A smaller proportion (19%) see the opposite: They will have overestimated their withholdings and learn they still owe... More>>

How a UTMA Compares to a 529 Plan

The cost of higher education has skyrocketed over the last few decades, and shows no signs of slowing. That’s why it’s more important than ever that parents start saving as early as possible for their... More>>

How a Passive Investing Strategy Works

Passive investing is a go-to strategy for long-term investors, because it capitalizes on the typical upward trend of the overall market over many years. Of course, there are many ways to do well in investing, and financial... More>>

What Is the Tax Rate on Stock Options?

For many employees in America, especially those at tech companies and other startups, stock options are a part of compensation packages. While the right to buy stock in a company at a set price is an attractive form of... More>>

Will the Government Shutdown Affect Tax Refunds?

The U.S. experienced a partial government shutdown from Dec. 22, 2018 to Jan. 25, 2019. This 35-day shutdown was the longest in U.S. history and disrupted the service of multiple federal agencies, such as the National Park... More>>

What is RSI?

Unlike investing, trading requires a very active approach to the financial markets. Rather than buying and holding assets to build wealth over the course of many years, a trader frequently buys and sells stocks,... More>>

What is Beta? Everything You Need to Know About Measuring Stock Volatility

Beta measures how volatile a stock is in relation to the broader stock market over time. A stock with a high beta indicates it’s more volatile than the overall market and can react with dramatic share-price changes... More>>

The Best Investment Apps for Every Investor

Investment apps have exploded in popularity in recent years, with both existing brokerages and new companies offering mobile apps to help you invest. There are apps for all kinds of investors, from the beginner just... More>>

How to Invest $100,000

So you’ve got $100,000, and you’re ready to invest it. Maybe a relative has passed away and left you money in a will. Maybe you’ve been building up savings in a retirement account and you’re finally... More>>

Three Methods For Maximizing Your Content Marketing Strategy

Originally posted on   A strong content marketing strategy can yield a wide number of benefits for a business of any size.... More>>

The Best Marketing Tactics to Adopt in 2019

Originally posted on   Promoting your business online is an ongoing process. Yet, each social media post you publish, article you... More>>

How to Find the Best Charities to Donate Your Vehicle

Donating your car to charity is a thoughtful and generous act. It’s also one that can save you some money on taxes. Many non-profit organizations that take automobile donations advertise it heavily, but doing... More>>

Where Women Are Buying Homes the Most – 2019 Edition

If buying a home is hard for the average working American, it can be even more difficult for the average working woman. The average full-time working woman earns just 81% of what the average full-time working man does,... More>>

How to Buy an Engagement Ring

It might seem easier to find a partner and plan a proposal than it is to buy the perfect engagement ring. In addition to being expensive, rings are seen as a symbol of love for your significant other and an …... More>>

Inheriting an IRA: What Taxes Do I Need to Pay?

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) first came along in the mid-70s. This means that the first Americans to make use of these retirement savings vehicles throughout their careers are now headed into their golden years.... More>>

What Is the Net Investment Income Tax?

Investing has the potential to be a lucrative financial endeavor, although there’s a fine line between success and failure. But as with most U.S. tax law, where money’s being made, you can surely find Uncle Sam... More>>

Should I Invest in Mutual Funds? The Pros and Cons

Mutual funds attract investors for many reasons. For starters, mutual funds are diversified and professionally managed investment vehicles. Their structure eliminates the need to pick securities individually and rebalance... More>>

Future Looks Bright! High Demand Jobs to Watch in 10 Years

According to some economists, we can expect 47% of all jobs to be automated by 2034. For this reason, it’s key to choose a career that will last in the future. In this post, you’ll learn about some of the high... More>>

How to Fill Out Form 709: A Step-by-Step Guide on Reporting Gift Tax

If in 2018 you gave someone cash or property valued at more than $15,000 or if you do so in 2019, you’ll have to fill out Form 709 for gift tax purposes. But don’t fret. This doesn’t always mean you’ll … Continue... More>>

How to Invest in Penny Stocks: A Step-by-Step Guide

The allure of penny stocks isn’t surprising. The idea is to buy low-priced stocks with huge growth potential and then make a robust profit by selling if they go up substantially in value. The problem is that many people... More>>

Making Your Mark: Why Professional Branding is a Must For Yourself and Your Company

What if you’re the best in the business but no one knows it? More>>

How an Advance Directive Differs from a Living Will

The time may come when a medical issue leaves you unable to express your wishes about medical treatment. That’s why it’s important to make preparations ahead of time to make these wishes clear to doctors and... More>>

Want to retire early? Becoming an entrepreneur is your best bet

Following the learnings of the FIRE Movement can help you reach financial independence even earlier than you think


The Most In-Demand Jobs for Bachelor’s Degree Holders 2019

For bachelor’s degree holders, nabbing a high-paying job often hinges on finding out which sectors of the economy most need educated workers. Identifying the right roles where employers are clamoring to hire them... More>>

To stop paying interest charges, overpay your credit card bill

Can you pay off your credit card bill in full and still be charged interest? Yes – depending on the timing of your payment


Where Are Millennials Buying Homes? – 2019 Edition

Record high home values, stagnating incomes, the largest economic downturn in a century and record levels of student debt are just a few examples of the roadblocks between millennials and homeownership. All these factors... More>>

The Pros And Cons Of Personal Loans And Debt

© JohnKwan - © JohnKwan -

If you have credit card debt, you’re probably worried about getting it paid off. However, if you’re like many Americans, while your intentions are good, you just can’t seem to get a handle on your finances. Most Americans carry a significant amount of credit card debt. The average balance on credit cards held by a consumer is $6,348.00, according to Experian. While Americans are finding themselves in better shape financially than they have been in the last decad...


Employers are overlooking the next big workplace crisis: employee caregiving responsibilities

Employees aren't being properly supported, and employers are leaving valuable dollars on the table


States Where It’s Easiest to Get Help Filing Taxes – 2019 Edition

Filling out your taxes can be a real headache. It’s no surprise, then, that online software like TurboTax has been growing in recent years to meet the demands of taxpayers in need of expert advice. But there are more... More>>

Tax season begins January 28

Did you have a happy New Year? We certainly hope so. Now it's time to get back to regular routines and take care of January chores, including gathering your tax information


Getting the jump on April 15

Is it tax time already? You may not want to admit it, but tax time starts well before the filing deadline


2 out of 3 loans used for credit cards and loan consolidation

What do you do with debts that have unfavorable interest rates or difficult payment terms? If you can, consolidate them into one debt stream with more favorable terms


Best Cities to Get Out of Debt – 2019 Edition

Americans have greater than $800 billion in outstanding credit card debt, according to data from the New York Federal Reserve. What’s more, roughly 8% of credit card debt is delinquent by 90 days or more. If... More>>

To grow your business, invest in tech

But don't fall for "shiny objects." It's all about execution


States With the Highest Average Tax Refund – 2019 Edition

About 75% of American taxpayers overpaid on taxes in tax year 2016, according to IRS data. And though they may have been overjoyed to get a handsome tax refund, this scenario means they are simply being reimbursed for... More>>

Nearly 1 In 4 feel they'll never escape from significant debt

According to the latest Household Debt and Credit Report from the New York Federal Reserve, America's total household debt has surpassed $13.5 trillion. Do you sometimes feel like $13 trillion of that debt is yours?


New 2019 tax laws

Here is a reminder of changes affecting your tax returns for the 2018 tax year


How the interest rate increase affects you

Your Christmas gift from the Federal Reserve is here. Surprise! It's another 0.25% hike in the Federal Funds rate


The Most Affordable Beach Towns in 2019

Beachfront property in warm locales is not exactly in large supply, so it can be difficult to find an affordable home where you and your family can winter. For the past few years, though, SmartAsset has endeavored to... More>>

Cities With the Best Work-Life Balance – 2019 Edition

A healthy work-life balance is something most professionals in the U.S. highly value. In fact, 53% of employees say that a job conducive to a greater work-life balance and improved personal well-being is “very... More>>

Retirement and multiple employment plans

Multiple employment plans allow businesses in completely unrelated industries to pool their resources under the same retirement plan umbrella


More than half of rewards credit cardholders carry a balance

Rewards cards can provide great benefits – but they can also tempt you to overspend. When that happens, you're more likely to carry a balance and wipe out your rewards with interest charges


How to Buy a Second Home

Have you ever been on vacation and wondered how delightful it might be to have the chance to live in that locale, even part-time? The tangible next step to this realization could be looking at a local real estate guide... More>>

How to Buy an Apartment

You can fulfill the American dream of homeownership by owning an apartment just as you can with a traditional home. Owning instead of renting can also be good for your finances, as you’re building equity in a... More>>

What Are the Tax Benefits of an LLC?

One of the most popular ways to organize a business is as a limited liability company, otherwise known as an LLC. LLCs require less paperwork than C corporations and S corporations, while giving owners some of the same... More>>

California Gift Tax: All You Need to Know

California doesn’t enforce its own gift tax. However, the federal government does. That tax rate can climb to as high as 40%. Still, there are plenty of ways you can minimize the hit or avoid it all together. For the... More>>

What Is the Annuity Exclusion Ratio?

If you have looked into products like annuities, you’ve probably seen the term “exclusion ratio” floating around. It’s one of the most important factors you need to consider when planning your investments. The exclusion... More>>

You still need a high credit score to refinance

Times aren't great in the mortgage refinancing market


Where Full-Time Workers Pay the Most Taxes: 2019

It can be difficult to look at your paycheck and see upwards of 15% of it sent to the government. Of course, those taxes pay for worthwhile causes, a fact that doesn’t always lessen the initial sting of seeing your …... More>>

Unusual Jobs That Are Abundant in the 30 Largest Metro Areas

Many cities have a reputation for being filled with a particular type of professional.  Picturing New York City, for instance, some people may conjure up an image of Wall Street with its highly paid financiers. San... More>>

Are Banks Open on Labor Day?

Labor Day is an American holiday that celebrates workers and the labor movement. Observed on the first Monday of September, it also (unofficially) marks the end of summer. To most, Labor Day means a three-day weekend of... More>>

How to Buy a Tesla

Teslas are hot right now, and not just because they’re named after a man who once tried to invent the death ray. Elon Musk’s brainchild has cultural cachet, doesn’t need gas and might just help keep the Florida coastline... More>>

How to Buy Rental Property

If you’re thinking of investing in real estate, why not buy a rental property? Whether it’s just a small home or apartment or, at the higher end, a multi-family home or apartment building, you can generate robust and... More>>

How to Buy a Franchise

A franchise can be the best of both worlds. When you become a franchisee, you get to launch and own your small business without having to create one from the ground up. A franchise means buying into a proven business... More>>

Changing your mind on Social Security benefits

You've just become eligible for Social Security benefits. Are you going to apply for them now, wait until your full retirement age, or delay benefits as long as you possibly can?


How Are Annuities Taxed?

An annuity can provide you with income that is guaranteed for as long as you live.  These retirement savings vehicles do provide some tax benefits by letting earnings grow tax-deferred. However, at least part of your... More>>

Annuity vs. 401(k): Which Is Better for Retirement?

Choosing the right way to save for retirement based on your personal needs is easier said than done. There is a plethora of options available, with annuities and 401(k) plans being some of the most prominent. While these... More>>

EBIT vs. EBITDA: What Is the Difference?

Whether you’re a financial professional or just an interested stockholder, you’ve probably run into the acronyms “EBIT” and “EBITDA” before. Both of these analytical metrics are a way of measuring a firm’s profits. While... More>>

How to Open a Brokerage Account

Buying stocks, bonds, and other investments through a brokerage firm is cheaper and easier than ever. Deals abound, as discount brokers like Charles Schwab and Ally charge as low as $4.95 per trade. In many cases, opening... More>>

UGMA vs. UTMA Custodial Accounts

So you’d like to set aside some money for your children. Perhaps you want to build an early inheritance or, more likely, you’d like to get a jump on their college fund. In either case, you’ll want to know about …... More>>

How to Invest in a Hedge Fund

Hedge funds are more loosely regulated than traditional mutual funds and tend to invest in different types of securities. This can mean higher returns, but it can also mean higher fees and greater risk of loss. If you’re... More>>

5 steps to take if turned down for a checking account

Take a deep breath and start your path to redemption using these five tips


North Carolina Gift Tax: All You Need to Know

North Carolina no longer enforces its own gift tax. However, you may trigger a gift tax at the federal level depending on the value of the gifts you provide.  But you won’t owe a gift tax until you breach your …... More>>

Florida Gift Tax: All You Need to Know

There is no Florida gift tax, but the federal government enforces one. Nonetheless, you may just need to report a gift to an individual in a particular year that’s valued at more than $15,000. In most cases, you won’t pay... More>>

The Best Cities to Work From Home

The benefits of working from home are manifold — but especially helpful when it comes to your mental state and finances. After all, a commute can be stressful and pricey if you’re guzzling gas while sitting in... More>>

Places Where Residents Are Improving Their Finances the Most

Each new year, Americans tell themselves they’re going to make changes to improve their lives. According to a recent YouGov poll, the top three lifestyle adjustments Americans want to make are eating healthier,... More>>

New Jersey Gift Tax: All You Need to Know

New Jersey doesn’t have a gift tax. However, you may still owe a federal gift tax if the value of the gifts you provide exceed a certain amount. Following the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the federal …... More>>

Wyoming Estate Tax

Wyoming does not levy an estate tax. There is a federal estate tax, though, that will apply to Wyoming residents with large enough estates. This page will walk Cowboy State residents though what they’ll need to know about... More>>

Tennessee Estate Tax

Tennessee has no estate tax, regardless of the size of your estate. There is a federal estate tax, though, that will apply to Volunteer State residents who have estates of sufficient size. This page will walk Tennesseans... More>>

South Dakota Estate Tax

South Dakota does not levy an estate tax. There is a federal estate tax, however, that will apply to South Dakotans who have estates of a certain size. This page is a guide for Mount Rushmore State residents who are... More>>

6 tips to make your 2019 budget

Many people are reconsidering their budget to prevent holiday overspending over the next few months. If you are one of these people, good for you – but why stop there?


Interest rates on the rise this holiday season

America has been enjoying historically low interest rates for years – but those days are coming to an end


Changes to Medicare in 2019

In 2019, changes to Medicare may improve the healthcare options and flexibility for beneficiaries


5 New Year's resolutions to raise your credit score

You're determined to make 2019 the year you raise your credit score. Why not get off to a good start with these five New Year's resolutions to send your credit score in the right direction?


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  • Young Seniors Have High Non-Mortgage Debt

    Young Seniors Have High Non-Mortgage Debt

    By Sandra Parsons Debt is a major barrier to financial well-being among Americans. While we tend to think of debt as an issue affecting young and middle-aged people, the truth is that senior citizens carry debt,...More >>
    By Sandra Parsons Debt is a major barrier to financial well-being among Americans. While we tend to think of debt as an issue affecting young and middle-aged people, the truth is that senior citizens carry debt, too. Among...More >>
  • Are You Easily Fooled Online?

    Are You Easily Fooled Online?

    You're a pretty tech-savvy person. You know how to avoid common scams. You can spot phishing e-mails a mile away – even spear phishing e-mails tailored specifically to fool you. Would you like to put your...More >>
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  • Nearly 3 Of 4 Won't Date People In Significant Debt

    Nearly 3 Of 4 Won't Date People In Significant Debt

    Are you having trouble getting a date? Could be your rap, your looks, or your excessive debt. According to a recent survey by, 72% of respondents say they would re-think a relationship with a partner in...More >>
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